The Crossroads of the Aether
then you would love my favorite shop, as posted here:
I absolutely love using military tents and military utilities in general! Twill is really fun to work with as well. I have also made some accessories using jersey and cotton (considering this is Florida and how hot it gets down here). Velvet is very lovely to work with provided that it is not too heavy.
The only material that I have difficulty locating is leather for some reason. A lot of the stores and merchants I deal with only seem to have pleather which is nice for the vegetarian and vegan demographic, but it doesn't have the same feel. Brocade is a lovely fabric to work with for me as well as lace.
You may wish to try eBay. I have noticed a number of sellers offering leather for sale. However, it is probably best to do a bit of research beforehand, as this are mostly in the form of skins, of varying grades, thicknesses, and quality, and you would not want to pay a price out of line with what you receive.
I just saw these key print fabrics in various colors, looked very steampunk worthy to me:
fabricguru.com (also available other stores incl. Amazon)
Personally I favor natural fibers: wool, silk, linen, cotton. And I have a weakness vor velvet, brocades, damask, and stripes.
damask and stripes are very lovely!
Of course every time I am OCD'ing over aligning stripes perfectly neat and symmetrical, I curse myself for my penchant LOL And then, if it comes out the way I wanted, I swell with pride and float away (and try to resist telling everyone "and check out those stripes here, they even line up at the darts and sleeves!"). But seriously, patterns do slow down the process at a lot of steps.
Have yet to tackle plaid, which is same problem as stripes but squared (literally!)... I have a loverly silk taffeta-ish fabric in charcoal, ivory and crimson plaid waiting on its bolt for me to dive in. May need another go first with a less beloved fabric, I reeeeeeally don't want to ruin this one, which was a remnant and not replaceable (Well, might be able to find some at >$100/yd, which is the same as not available in my world...).
I am a bit of a scavenger and a frugal crafter.
I like to work with bits and pieces that I already have when possible. It is kind of game. "Can this shirt be steampunked?"
I like to recycle old clothing and other bits of fabric such as table cloths and curtains.
One of my first steampunk sewing projects used a shower curtain as a mock underskirt. It was one of the nice shower curtains, not a the cheap plastic kind. I sewed a wide strip of it to a petticoat. When I put a skirt over it, it looks like an underskirt.
There is a nice cotton print I saw of a world map that I plan to pick up on etsy. I am working on a pirate themed costume and I think it would go nicely with it.
I like velvets, velveteens, and suede but I tend not to work with them too much because I live in an area that is often hot and humid.
I tend to go with cotton, rayon and lace. I like silk, but I would like to be a more experienced sewer before I work with it.
I am rather fond of leaves as a motif for fabrics, and I have seen some stunningly beautiful Victorians era fabrics with leaves and vines. Alas, modern prints tend to be, well, not anywhere near as elegant, in my opinion. So while it isn't anything special, really, I had a little "oh wow, this is not too bad" moment when I saw this, at less than $4 a yard (plus shipping), in cotton - or 80-20 cotton-linen blend, which is great too, they list what looks like the exact same fabric twice with different fiber and price (?!). I ordered some, and hope it does look nice when you get a fuller view of it. If not it's not such a disaster at the price, I'd try to give it away if I'm disappointed. I also think it has a little bit of a Japanese feel to it. It will need either layering for a floaty 1900s type of thing, or flat lining if it's to be used for any shaping like a bodice, since I expect it will be quite thin (they call it a cotton gauze). I haven't decided yet, will have to see how it handles, though the motif suggests 1870s-1880s styles more than 1890s-1900s to me. Could be dyed too.